Indian esports has recently been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons. It all started with Nikhil ‘forsaken’ Kumawat getting caught cheating on LAN while playing for Optic India. But just as the news was dying and peace was on the horizon, Entity Gaming made the news through Anthony ‘Scantzor’ Hodgson’s tweet. The tweet was the link to a post where Scantzor points the finger at not just Entity, who had employed him as their Dota 2 coach, but also at Mineski and GESC Jakarta.
I am considering a potential career change, following three consecutive employers over the past two years taking advantage of me in one way or another.
Unfortunately Dota 2 jobs in the SEA region have not provided me with any kind of job security.https://t.co/9dJiQlr156
— Anthony Hodgson (@scantzor) October 29, 2018
Whenever someone tweets or puts up a controversial story, the general consensus is to sympathize with the first person who posts about it and people fail to take into account the other side of the story. When Scantzor decided to share his story on Twitter, in a lot of places he chose to use ‘we’, implying himself and the players involved. But the players seem to have a whole different outlook to how everything unfolded, which we will see in this article. Entity Gaming’s manager, Sid ‘Boogiesan’ Joshi clarified a few things as well in the follow up to Scantzor’s tweet. Let’s start with what Sid had to say (the entire story can be found here) and then dwelve into what the ex Entity players said.
Scantzor mentioned that the team did very well in the TI 8 regional qualifiers, which is true. The team did finish in 4th place and it was a good finish for the Indian outfit. But what he conveniently forgets to mention is that only two of the players that made were a part of that squad continued into the new season. Jobeeezy and NoiA were the two that carried on while Pingvincek, HesteJoe-Rotten and Black^ left the organization. The new players that came in were Velo, Deth and Castaway. As it happened, the new roster did not seem to click as the earlier one and Entity did not fare well in the first three qualifiers of the season. Sid mentions in his post that they tried multiple position switches (mainly because Deth was a position 3 player who Scantzor brought in to play position 1). It was Scant who then made the decision to kick long serving captain Jobeeezy, shift Deth to position 5 (after getting him as a position 3 and playing him as a position 1) and recruit a new safe lane carry.
When Jobeeezy was let go by Entity, a decision that Sid says brought him to tears, they started looking for potential position 1 players. This turned into a mini saga in itself. The team were in talks with a certain player. The player also scrimmed with Entity for a few days and things seemed to be going well. Apparently, good guy Scantzor did not like the player and started talking smack about him while forgetting to mute Discord. That’s right, Discord was on and the player heard everything on the other side. This was a potential recruit and the coach closed all doors to getting him to Entity. The funny thing is, this has not been mentioned in Scantzor’s post anywhere. From screenshots of conversations Sid had with Katya Junget, Danny ‘NoiA’ Junget’s wife, it was only the coach and Deth who had major problems with the player. The other three players and the manager were all for it.
Two months into the new season. No good results. Long serving captain kicked based on coach’s suggestion. Failure to recruit a new carry, thanks to the trash talking about him. Think about the situation from the point of view of Entity. The organization is pouring money into the team to see this? I get that the team had a one year contract. But if this is what it comes to, why should any organization put in more money when there is no stability whatsoever? Entity Gaming had a good amount of time after the regional qualifiers to sort out their roster situation. This not happening IS the coach’s fault. Rightly so, the team was dissolved as it seemed to be heading in no particular direction. Digressing from Dota a bit, Real Madrid’s new manager, Julen Lopetegui was sacked four and half months into a three year contract. And why shouldn’t he be? The club was performing disastrously. Similar is the situation with Entity. Forming a team and getting them to gel together is something that should be done in the off season, not when the qualifiers are coming hot and heavy. If Anthony Hodgson is someone who fails to see that, then yes, as he cites, he really should think of a career change. As far as the severance package is concerned, unless it is mentioned in the contract, why would an organization pay someone not performing up to the expected potential excess money? And yet, Entity Gaming did pay him the extra 15 days’ worth of salary. Travis ‘Castaway’ Waters, who was a part of the roster recently opened up to the saga. In his post, he clearly mentions that there was no severance promised to any member of the team and no one except Scant made a fuss about it. Reading Castaway’s post, it is clear that the carry player mentioned earlier is none other than Dominik ‘Black^’ Reitmeier. Black did play with Entity in the TI 8 qualifiers, but upon hearing the coach’s comments on him, shied away from playing with the team for the 2018-2019 season.
*MY RESPONSE TO THE SCANT BLOG*
I'd like to shed some light on my experience with the organisation as a whole as well as speak about a few points mentioned by both parties involved in the article as I don't like it… https://t.co/CkG6h6aIk6
— Travis Waters (@traviscastaway) October 30, 2018
Well, the dissolution of the team was just the first part of the saga. Even after the roster was let go, they had to stay in the Entity Gaming team house as all of them were from different countries and the bootcamp was in Mumbai, India. Scantzor talks about ‘getting ourselves safely home’ and ‘not compromising our feeling of safety’, which is not at all true looking at the statements from the other players. After this post was released, manager Sid Joshi, who has been in the line of fire ever since Scantzor put up his tweet, reached out to the former Entity players and asked them if any of them felt threatened.
Danny ‘NoiA’ Junget definitely did not seem to have a problem with how the team was treated.
Neither does Taesung ‘Velo’ Kim (parts of the conversation have hidden as they contain confidential information and the main purpose of this image to get to the bottom of how Entity Gaming treated their players). Having seen this, it makes me wonder where Anthony’s sense of insecurity comes from? Or is it just an additional piece to spice up his story of how Entity have done him wrong? I think the latter. Entity Gaming were kind enough to let Danny ‘NoiA’ Junget’s wife stay at the bootcamp (as she has mentioned a post on Facebook, which also specifies how well they were treated). The organization also let Travis ‘Castaway’ Waters stay at the bootcamp after the dissolution of the team to allow him to practice, which he has mentioned in his post (in his tweet above).
The cherry on top of the cake is (although there are no conversations or screenshots to verify this) Scantzor’s contract stated that he would stay separately (not at the bootcamp, for which he was paid extra) or would pay rent if he stayed at the bootcamp. I’m pretty sure you can guess what happened. The coach made his home at the bootcamp and did not pay rent at all. Again, this cannot be verified but I have it on good authority.
There is more to come from this saga in the coming days and we will have a better idea of all the things that did actually happen. This post might seem Entity Gaming favored, but the reason for that is that they are the only entity (no pun intended) that provided proofs of conversations to back their claims. It is sad that Anthony ‘Scantzor’ Hodgson could not take the team to big heights and found himself without a job just two months in to a yearlong contract, but that does not mean he can put up a tale of woe to garner sympathy. More to come…